- Title: "Let it be": Mongolians protest as bulldozers threaten Beatles monument
- Date: 12th August 2017
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Mongolian) LAWYER, DOLGORMAA, SAYING: "This place has no potential for becoming a department store. It's the size of the palm of a hand. All this eco-area is vanishing because of a few group of money launderers." PEOPLE TALKING AND LAUGHING (SOUNDBITE) (Mongolian) CAMERAMAN, SAINZAYA, SAYING: "Was this big apple doing any harm? Everyone likes to come here and enjoy their free time. But they just destroyed all this." ULAANBATAAR, MONGOLIA (AUGUST 10, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF STATUE AT BEATLES SQUARE ULAANBATAAR, MONGOLIA (RECENT - AUGUST 4, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE GATHERED IN FRONT OF STATUE POLICEMAN STANDING DIGGER BEHIND STATUE (SOUNDBITE) (Mongolian) COMMUNITY ORGANIZER, SARUUL, SAYING: "Land officials are a big part of corruption, and they're exchanging political positions, not by corruption money but they pay for their positions with the land. It's an ugly mafia. Me and all of my family grew up here, and we are going to try to protect this area. It's not only our personal space, but it's also a historical and cultural of the city." PEOPLE WALKING AWAY FROM STATUE
- Embargoed: 26th August 2017 03:07
- Keywords: Mongolia Beatles protest demolition monument
- Location: ULAANBATAAR, MONGOLIA
- City: ULAANBATAAR, MONGOLIA
- Country: Mongolia
- Topics: Human Interest / Brights / Odd News,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0026TUOWGP
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A statue of the Beatles could be at risk amid an alleged land grab in Mongolia's capital, Ulaanbaatar, where rapid development is turning a city once renowned for its wide open spaces into a cluttered metropolis.
Ulaanbaatar residents are protesting plans to build commercial properties in an area known as "Beatles Square", where a bronze bas-relief monument to the "Fab Four" was built to commemorate the country's transition to democracy in 1990.
Residents have been protesting against construction work, which was launched following an announcement on August 2. They described the development as a "land grab" and expressed concern the Beatles statue could be moved or even demolished.
The music of the Beatles, Abba, and other Western pop groups helped launch the "Rock and Roll Communist Revolution" that inspired a generation to fight for Mongolian democracy 30 years ago. The monument was erected in 2008 after donations from politicians, businessmen and artists. It marks the spot where Mongolians gathered to talk about banned Western pop music. It soon became a quirky tourist attraction.
Authorities have defended the development, saying it is part of a "car-free street" project involving the construction of an underground shopping complex complete with street gardens.
Congested and polluted Ulaanbaatar has seen its population double in just 20 years as thousands of impoverished herders settle in makeshift residential districts. The shift has put Ulaanbaatar's infrastructure under strain and forced it to rethink its urban planning, but protesters expressed anger about the way protected public land is bought up by "oligarchs".
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None